12/21/11 Chris, about 22
In the busyness of holiday shopping it can be intimidating trying to find anyone who might have time to talk. At a Target store I stopped by the one place where I knew I could find someone who wasn't in too much of a hurry. I found a heavy-set young man browsing in the fiction books, ear buds on. "Hey, I'm wondering if you have a minute to answer a few questions". It was kind of hard to say no when one is so obviously killing time, so he (Chris) took his ear buds off. I asked "What do you think is the meaning of Christmas?". He seemed to think I would be shocked to hear that he thinks it only exists for commercial reasons and that it was originally a pagan holiday hijacked by Christians. I went on to find out he usually considers himself an atheist and has no interest in religion. "You realize atheism is unscientific don't you?" He looked surprised. "I mean, there's a big difference between simply saying that you don't believe God exists as opposed to an absolute statement like saying 'There is no God'." At first Chris held to the common assumption that the burden of proof lies on believers to prove the existence of God but I explained that absolute statements about God's existence or non-existance both demand proof. He was surprised that I agreed that we can't discover God for ourselves - He must reveal Himself to us as He has in the Bible. I challenged him to have an open mind that God could, indeed, exist "Eternity is far too important to take this question lightly"